BJ The Chicago Kid, Live In Concert For a couple years now BJ The Chicago Kid has been the answer when rappers need a little help baring their souls. Watch him step into the spotlight at NPR Music's show during CMJ.

Front Row

BJ The Chicago Kid, Live In Concert

For a few years now, BJ The Chicago Kid has been the answer when rappers known for taking their pound of flesh need a little help baring their souls — from Freddie "Gangsta" Gibbs to Top Dawg Entertainment's reluctant industry darlings, Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q. BJ's instrument is ragged on the edges and nearly perfectly translates the hard times he's often tapped to sing about — but he wields it in such a way that they're smooth going down. That old-soul voice was on full display in his set at NPR Music's show during CMJ.

A master role player, BJ switches from seducer to truth-teller to jilted lover and back again during this performance. With a flexible band — featuring an especially stunning guitarist, Jairus "J. Mo" Mozee — bending to his every inflection, BJ performed tracks from his debut album, 2012's Pineapple Now-Laters, and dipped into new singles, including the buttery, swoon-worthy "Soul Of A Woman."

The highlight came at the very end, when he tackled an almost 15-year-old song that still draws an immediate reaction out of even the most recalcitrant concert-goer: D'Angelo's "Untitled (How Does It Feel)." Many singers won't touch it, as the original recording is indelible. But BJ does it again and again, differently each time, and always tip-toeing a little further away from the past and closer to himself.

Set List

  • "Sex x Money x Sneakers"
  • "Free"
  • "Good Luv'n"
  • "Soul Of A Woman"
  • "Studio" (ScHoolboy Q)
  • "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" (D'Angelo)
Personnel

• BJ The Chicago Kid, vocals

• Richard "Scooter" Sledge, drums

• Jairus "J. Mo" Mozee, guitar

• Eric "El" Ingram, bass

Credits

Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Otis Hart; Event Manager: Saidah Blount; Audio Engineers: Richie Clarke, Kevin Wait; Videographers: Rachel Counce, Colin Marshall, Susan Hale Thomas; Host: Frannie Kelley; Special Thanks: Squarespace, (Le) Poisson Rouge; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann

[+] read more[-] less

More From R&B/Soul

Jamila Woods sings "HEAVN" at PUBLIC ARTS in downtown Manhattan. Nickolai Hammar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Nickolai Hammar/NPR

Watch Jamila Woods Perform 'HEAVN,' Shrouded In Blue Velvet

Before her show at New York's PUBLIC ARTS venue, the rising R&B star played a stripped-down version of the title track of her debut record for our Night Owl series.

A still from The Pollyseeds' "Intentions' video. YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

The Pollyseeds' 'Intentions' Oozes Style

WBGO

This just looks like the coolest party ever. Terrace Martin — known for his work with Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar — and his new band that culls from G-Funk, jazz and R&B set the scene.

Rhye, "Please." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Rhye Returns To Lull You Into The Sultriest Stupor

"Please" picks up where 2013's Woman left off: namely, by draping sweet-voiced pleas for intimacy and connection with vaporous layers of softly shimmering soul.

Emily Bogle/NPR

Avery*Sunshine

The gospel-trained singer showcased why she counts Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson as fans.

Killer Mike and George Clinton talk barbering, music and history in The SWAG Shop in Atlanta. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Watch: Shop Talk With George Clinton And Killer Mike

The two musicians settle in at Killer Mike's Atlanta barbershop to discuss everything from the birth of Funkadelic to their barbering philosophies.

Back To Top